Burnley Canal Festival to return this weekend on Leeds and Liverpool Canal
Taking place this Sunday, the festival will bring a dynamic celebration of Burnley’s historic canal heritage to Finsley Gate Wharf and the surrounding towpath between 11am and 5pm.
As part of the festival, The Weavers’ Triangle Visitor Centre will extend its opening hours from noon to 4pm.
Launched in 2012, the free Burnley Canal Festival has developed each year, steered by volunteers and supported by partners.
The festival hasn’t been held since 2019 due to the pandemic, but returns this year with vibrant performances and magical family activities, mixing canal traditions with contemporary performance, music, arts workshops and food.
Families will have the chance to paddle along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, take a ride on the Waterbus, and walk along the towpath to see if they can spot the Golden Barge.
The Towpath Explorers have devised an exciting game trail for all the family as well, and there will be a host of arts and crafts activities.
A Burnley Canal Festival spokesman said: “We are also delighted to announce the festival partners who have made this year’s free event possible. New partners Finsley Gate Wharf Ltd celebrate their move into the spectacularly restored Wharf that has been part of Burnley’s canalside since the 18th Century.
“Once again the festival has received fantastic support from the Canal & River Trust and The Super Slow Way, who this year have included the festival in their Pennine Lancashire Linear Park pilot project, which is funded by the UK Government via the UK Community Renewal Fund. We thank them all for helping the festival remain a free event.”
Laurie Peake, director of The Super Slow Way said: “The Super Slow Way is delighted to be supporting the ever popular Burnley Canal Festival this year, ensuring that it remains free for all.
"Our Pennine Lancashire Linear Park pilot project has been looking at ways to get people visiting and using our wonderful Leeds and Liverpool Canal as well as seeing how they use it.
"The festival is a good example of how people can enjoy themselves on the canal and the variety of activities they can participate in.”
The Visitor Centre has close connections with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, being located in the former Canal Agent’s House and Toll Office at Burnley Wharf on Manchester Road.
The house was built in 1878 for Thomas Goodchild, the then agent and his large family.
At the same time an upper floor, at road level, was added to the single storey Toll Office which has existed since the canal was opened through Burnley in 1801. It has now been restored to its appearance in the 1950s and houses a display about the canal.
The rest of the centre tells the story of the Weavers’ Triangle, the cotton industry and its worker’s and includes a Victorian school room and a working model fairground.
Another nearby attraction during the Canal Festival is the engine house at Oak Mount Mill on Wiseman Street which will be open from 1pm to 4 p.m. when the engine will be turned over by electricity as the boilers were removed when the mill closed in 1979.
Admission to the Visitor Centre and Engine House is free but donations are welcomed.